Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sweet Ashton

What happens when your baby's birthday falls right at the beginning of your busiest time of year? His 2-year pictures get put off for 3 months. Sorry buddy.

I knew I didn't want to do anything super formal for Ashton's 2-year pictures. It was more important for me to capture the essence of who he is now. And he is all boy.

So, while Emerson was at art class this afternoon, Ashton and I set out to explore an empty field that I have been wanting to check out. It was the perfect setting for boy pictures. He could run and play. Find sticks and rocks. Get dirty and be rowdy. We had fun. He had my full attention, which is rare, and he soaked it up. And I soaked him up.

The amount of love I have for this little man is absolutely overwhelming. Literally. Sometimes I am gasping for breath at the thought of his preciousness.

Anyways, there were way too many from this afternoon that I loved, so I threw most into collages in hopes of telling a story. This is Ashton at 2 (and 3 months).


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Family day at the arboretum

I finally had a weekend off. It has been 7 weeks since I had a full weekend off (and that was when Steve and Emy were out of town- so even longer since the 4 of us were together AND I had a weekend off). Anyways, this weekend the opportunity presented itself for me to have the entire weekend off. No shoots. No editing. Nothing.

I jumped at the chance. The weather was great. The kids were great. Steve was great. It was blissful.

Saturday morning we headed to the Dallas Arboretum. I am there fairly frequently but Steve and the kids have never been. The timing was perfect since the always beautiful arboretum still had two special exhibits going on- the pumpkin village and the Chihuly glass exhibit.

The kids (and Steve and I) had a blast! It wasn't that crowded and it was the perfect amount of exploration and playing for everyone.

Everything was perfect until we decided to stop at the outdoor cafe on our way out for a quick bit of lunch. I guess the birds around the cafe are used to getting fed because they kept landing on our chairs and table looking for scraps and it was scaring the daylights out of Emy and Ash. Literally, blood curdling screams every time  bird landed near. Steve and I were cracking up though. Bad parents:)2012-11-10_001 2012-11-10_002 2012-11-10_011 2012-11-10_003 2012-11-10_004 2012-11-10_005 2012-11-10_006 2012-11-10_007 2012-11-10_008 2012-11-10_009 2012-11-10_010


Emerson's 5th birthday party

Emerson was very specific when I asked her what she wanted to do for her party, "I want a Fancy Nancy art party" she said. Okay. Not sure what that is but let's run with it.

Fancy Nancy is one of Emy's current loves. If you are not familiar with this character, she is a little girl (age 6 or 7 I think) who likes all things fancy. She dresses fancy. Talks with big fancy words. And does everything with flair. She really is a cute character.

Like any typical 5 year old, Emy is obsessed with different toys and characters every month. Her taste is always changing. One thing has stayed constant since she was a baby. Emerson loves art. LOVES it. So, her request for an art party was not a surprise at all.

I had a few road blocks when planning Emerson's party this year. 1. I wasn't sure how to tie Fancy Nancy and Art Party together. 2. Emerson's birthday happens to fall smack dab into my busiest time of year business wise and therefore my time allotted for party prep was really small.

In the end I decided to basically plan an art party and then decorate it "fancy". It definitely was not the most coordinated and themed party ever but it was girly and artsy and Emerson loved it.

We decorated with tons of streamers and sparkly tulle and lace placemats. We hung balloons overhead. When we put them up Emy said, "Oh Mommy. I love that. Can we keep it like that forever?" It was cute.

The kids arrived and got to pick out some "pearls" and a ribbon halo to wear. They had to get "fancied up". Then they snacked and painted a "mural" on a wall while we waited for everyone to arrive. When all the guests were here, the kids had an art lesson with Miss Kristi. They painted cupcakes. After the art class, the kids got to decorate their own cupcakes. Then it was time to sing Happy Birthday. Afterwards, the kids went back to painting and some just ran off the sugar high.

Overall, Emerson had a blast. She loved having all of her closest friends with her. She loved getting fancy and obviously, loved the art. Afterwards she kept hugging me and saying, "Mommy thank you so much for the best party. You are the best mommy". Can't beat that!


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Friday, November 9, 2012

Emerson is FIVE


Emerson's actual birthday was a Thursday this year. That worked out perfectly because that is the one day a week that we don't have a scheduled activity in the morning. So, we could really celebrate and make the day special.

We played around the house and snuggled and watched cartoons. Once we finally got our act together, we went to Chick-Fil-A for a special birthday lunch. Emerson was wearing a pin that said, "It's my birthday" on it. Let me tell you, she got more "stuff" on her birthday because of that pin! Case in point, at Chick-fil-A we ordered our lunch just like normal and when they brought out our food they had a bouquet of balloons for Emy and told her happy birthday. She thought that was the coolest thing!

After lunch we hopped in the car and headed to the airport to pick up Mimi! The kids (and myself) were super excited to see Mimi. We hadn't seen her in a few months and it was extra special for her to arrive on Emy's special day.

We came home and the kids rested while Mimi and I got caught up. Afterwards, it was time for dance class. Emerson always has dance on Thursdays but this week was extra special. Not only was it her birthday but her class got to wear their Hallloween costumes to class AND perform a special routine for the parents.
After dance, Emerson got to pick where we went out to eat. She chose Flying Fish- no surprise... She is in love with their shrimp and hush puppies: ) We did family gifts and dessert at the restaurant before coming home to end her special day. She enjoyed it and had a great time and LOVES being able to say that she is 5!
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Today has been hard. The past few weeks have been hard. Basically I have been having a hard time since Ashton's birthday. Because I knew this was next. This time of year business is so insanely busy that I can't think straight. Literally. I am a complete mess. And on top of everything else, tomorrow has been quickly approaching. I have seen it on the horizon. I have talked about it. Prayed about it. And now I am teary about it.

It is here. Emerson is turning 5 tomorrow. Yes, all this drama is over a birthday. Birthdays are joyful. They truly are. But this one has me in a completely weepy state. My baby is going to be FIVE tomorrow. How did that happen?

There have been other birthdays. And I know there will be many more. But this one has hit me in the gut. Like a ton of bricks. Five. She is so independent. Five. She starts school next year. Five. She will be out in the world in just a few short months. Five. Have I prepared her for the world? Five. No longer a baby or a toddler but a young lady. Five. How did this happen?

I know tomorrow and this weekend will be about celebration but right now mommy is grieving. My sweet, innocent, baby is gone. Replaced with a kind, intelligent and beautiful young lady. My baby girl that I wished for my entire life is not a baby anymore. Not even close.

Let me end with a letter to my daughter.

Dear Emerson,

Tomorrow is your fifth birthday. You are so excited to finally be five. You love birthdays and can't wait to celebrate with family and friends this weekend. This year you are having a Fancy Nancy art party to incorporate two things that you love. I hope mommy can make it just as wonderful of a party as you are hoping for.

Emy, mommy loves you so much. I can't believe that you are five. I don't know where the years went. Of course I remember the day you were born. It doesn't seem like that long ago. It was the best day. You were the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. And you continue to become more beautiful every year.

 More than your beauty on the outside, your heart is so kind and loving. You look out for others. You are a great friend and a fabulous sister. You are empathetic and joyful and your laughter is completely infectious.

You are so creative and love all of the arts. You love to dance, sing, and create works of art. Your passion for art is so special. I hope you will enjoy the art lessons that mommy and daddy got you for your birthday this year.

 Last week at your school, we had teacher conferences and your teachers had nothing but great things to say. Literally they said it was hard for them to come up with something to have me work with you on. They said if they could have an entire class of Emerson's they would love it. They told me how you are kind and the best helper. All your classmates come to you with problems or when they need help. Your teachers went on and on about how intelligent and ahead for your age you are. I hope and pray that you always love school and want to be the leader.

This past few months have been full of change in our family. We spent the summer with our old house on the market and moving into a new house in a new neighborhood. I hope that you know that we did that for you. For your education. For your future. To give you the best we can. To put you in the place where we feel God wanted you to be.

The next year will be full of change too. Major changes for our family as you start kindergarten. There will be stress. Tears. Arguments and exhaustion. But it will be exciting. And fun. And a wonderful adventure. And we will do it together!

Most importantly, I hope that you know mommy and daddy are proud of you and love you to pieces. You are our big girl. Our precious angel. Our Emy Rae, M-n-M, stinkpot, babydoll, sugar, love, Emerson. You are our joy.

Love, Mommy 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Park Love

One of the BEST things about our new house and neighborhood is the proximity to the greatest park in Fort Worth. Seriously, it is the greatest. Every mom in the city knows of this park and agrees that it is the best. And now we are 1/2 mile from it!

So, when everyone was awake early from nap time yesterday, we jumped in the car and went to the park. We had about 30 minutes to kill before daddy came home, the weather was perfect and we live so close!

And might I add that now that the weather has cooled off, the park has been hoppin' lately:) 2012-09-19_011 2012-09-19_010 2012-09-19_012 2012-09-19_013 Photobucket